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    Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Courses

    CJFS 1120 - CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA

    Goals: To introduce students to the basic framework of the American criminal justice system.

    Content: Content: This course provides a broad overview of the American criminal justice system. The course examines criminal justice decision-making, police, criminal law, courts, prisons, and the juvenile justice system. This course is designed to introduce students to these broad topical areas and to explore the issues of equality and treatment, and the efficacy of criminal justice policy within the contemporary American criminal justice system.

    Taught: Annually, fall and spring.

    Prerequisite: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    CJFS 1130 - LAB: THE BASICS OF FORENSIC SCIENCE

    This lab must be taken concurrently with the CJFS 1130 lecture.

    The lab itself has zero credit value.  


    CJFS 1130 - THE BASICS OF FORENSIC SCIENCE

    Goals: To introduce non-science students to the practice of forensic science.  Content: The nature of physical evidence and its role in the legal system; expert testimony; disciplines such as crime scene investigation, fingerprints, questioned documents, firearms, DNA, drugs, toxicology, fire debris, and trace microanalysis (hairs, glass, fibers).

    Taught: Fall and spring.

    Corequisite: CJFS 1130 - LAB: Basics of Forensic Science

    You may not take CJFS 1130 if you have already completed CJFS 3400: Survey of Forensic Science.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 1140-Introduction to Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Methods

    Goals: The objective of this course is to introduce 1) the logic and methods of criminal justice research, 2) the nature of criminal justice data and its interpretation, and 3) the statistical knowledge and tools for data analysis. Students will gain a basic statistical literacy.

    Content: This course will cover reading and understanding data on crime, sources of crime data, variable measurement, and descriptive and inferential statistics, including understanding samples, bivariate techniques, and an introduction to multivariate analyses.

    Taught: Annually, fall and spring.

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120 Crime and Justice in America

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 1150 – DRUGS AND SOCIETY

    Goals: To introduce students to the history of drug laws in society, explore the science of toxicology, and the how science informs the use of evidence in the legal system and to a larger extent national drug policy.

    This course will be taught by Glenn Hardin and will be an approved elective for criminal justice majors, and an approved elective for forensic science minors. The course will cover three main areas: 1) the history of drug laws in the United States 2) introduction to toxicology, and 3) evidentiary issues and drug law policy.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: None

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3400 - LAB: SURVEY OF FORENSIC SCIENCE

    This lab must be taken concurrently with the CJFS 3400 lecture.

    The lab itself has zero credit value.


    CJFS 3400 - SURVEY OF FORENSIC SCIENCE

    Goals: To develop knowledge of how ordinary, everyday objects become evidence and how that evidence is collected, analyzed, and interpreted; to gain experience in examining evidence, to practice providing written and oral reports on laboratory activities, and to develop skills in expert testimony.

    Content: Roles and responsibilities of forensic scientists; the nature of physical evidence; evidence collection, analysis and interpretation; admissibility of scientific evidence; the scope, potential, and limitations of forensic science; the ethical responsibilities of forensic scientists; and oral and written communication through a mock trial and report writing.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CHEM 1100 or 1130.

    Corequisite: CJFS 3400 - LAB: Survey of Forensic Science

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3410 - CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION AND RECONSTRUCTION

    Goals: To develop skills in the investigation of crime scenes; to recognize evidence; and to understand the role of physical evidence in the legal system.

    Content: The role of crime scene investigation in the legal system; properties of evidence; evidence collection procedures; admissibility of evidence; and interpreting and reporting results.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 3400

    Credits: 2 credits


    CJFS 3420 - FORENSIC BIOLOGY

    Goals: To develop skills in the analysis of biological evidence; and to understand the role of science in the legal system.

    Content: Properties of biological evidence; evidence collection procedures; analysis and interpretation of evidence; reporting analysis results; and admissibility of evidence and expert testimony.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 3400 and BIOL 3060

    Credits: 2 credits


    CJFS 3430 - FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINATION

    Goals: To develop skills in the examination of questioned documents; and to understand the role of science in the legal system.

    Content: Properties of document evidence; evidence collection procedures; analysis and interpretation of evidence; reporting analysis results; and admissibility of evidence and expert testimony.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 3400

    Credits: 2 credits


    CJFS 3440 - FORENSIC FINGERPRINT EXAMINATION

    Goals: To develop skills in the examination of fingerprints; and to understand the role of science in the legal system.

    Content: Properties of fingerprint evidence; evidence collection procedures; analysis and interpretation of evidence; reporting analysis results; and admissibility of evidence and expert testimony.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 3400

    Credits: 2 credits


    CJFS 3450 - FORENSIC FIREARM AND TOOLMARK EXAMINATION

    Goals: To develop skills in the examination of firearms and toolmarks; and to understand the role of science in the legal system.

    Content: Properties of firearm and toolmark evidence; evidence collection procedures; analysis and interpretation of evidence; reporting analysis results; and admissibility of evidence and expert testimony.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 3400

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3600 - FORENSIC CHEMICAL MICROSCOPY

    Goals: To develop knowledge of the principles and methods of handling, analyzing, and interpreting physical evidence.

    Content: Forensic microscopy: using stereo, brightfield, and polarized light microscopy to examine and compare hairs, fibers, glass, drugs and other evidence using refractive index, birefringence, microcrystal morphology and other techniques. Forensic chemistry: the principles of and methods for the analysis of drugs, fire debris, inks and paints, glass, paper, fibers, polymers, and other evidence. Forensic toxicology: pharmacology and interpretation of drugs in human specimens. Ethics in the forensic sciences: quality in the forensic science laboratory; the responsibilities of forensic scientists; and expert testimony.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CHEM 3460 and CJFS 3400

    Corequisite: CJFS 3600 - LAB: Forensic Chemical Microscopy

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3600 - LAB: FORENSIC CHEMICAL MICROSCOPY

    This lab must be taken concurrently with the CJFS 3600 lecture.

    The lab itself has zero credit value.


    CJFS 3610 – FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY

    Goals: To develop knowledge of the principles and methods of analyzing human subject samples for alcohol and other drugs and interpreting alcohol and drugs test results.

    Content: Death investigation toxicology; human performance toxicology; forensic workplace drug testing; drug metabolism; pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics; analytical techniques; interpreting drug test results; expert witness testimony; working with attorneys.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CHEM 3450 and CJFS 3400.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3650 - FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNSHIP

    Goals: To enable students to pursue internships and explore the connections between   forensic science knowledge and experience in forensic science or related agencies; and to integrate internship experiences with their academic coursework.

    Content: Designing and completing an independent research project at a crime lab or medical examiner office; maintaining a reflective journal and discussing the internship experience; delivering a presentation about the research findings.
    Prerequisite: CJFS 3400

    Note 1: Forensic science students majoring in criminology and criminal justice may take CJFS 5660 to complete this requirement.

    Note 2: Students should contact the instructor well in advance of the beginning of the semester to discuss their internship placement site to assure prompt commencement of the internship.

    Note 3: Students interested in pursuing a laboratory internship must have, at the time of registration, no less than a 2.7 GPA in the natural science courses and a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0.

    Credits: 4 credits

    CJFS 5400 - FORENSIC SCIENCE SEMINAR

    Goals: To foster awareness and recognition of: 1) the professional responsibilities of forensic scientists that go beyond the examination of physical evidence; and 2) legal and scientific challenges to the interpretation of physical evidence examinations.

    Content: To investigate issues that affect the practice of forensic science in the United States such as: challenges to the scientific basis and reliability of forensic science disciplines and techniques; key legal rulings on the admissibility of scientific evidence and expert testimony; the rise of scientific working groups (SWGs) to develop worldwide consensus standards of practice; laboratory accreditation and professional certification; proficiency testing and quality management; professional codes of ethics; qualifications of forensic scientists and expert witness testimony.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 3400, CHEM 3450, BIOL 3060 + 12 credits in forensic science courses.

    Credits: 4 credits

    CJFS 3700: POLICING IN AMERICA

    Goals: The objectives for this course are for students to understand police organizations/operations from a social science perspective.  

    Content: The course covers topics related to police conduct, community policing, police subculture, professionalization of the police, ethical decision making in law enforcement and evidence-based policing.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite:  CJFS 1120, or LGST 1110; or instructor consent.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3710: CRIMINAL LAW AND PRACTICE

    Goals: To acquaint the student with the theory and practice of substantive criminal law.

    Content:  A study of the substantive aspects of criminal law, including traditional elements of crimes, statutory definitions, and judicial interpretations of specific crimes and motor vehicle offenses, as well as inchoate crimes, defenses to legal liability, and sentencing procedure.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120 or LGST 1110 or permission of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS  3720: CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

    Goal: To acquaint the student with the theory and practice of criminal procedural law.

    Content: An overview and critical examination of the procedural aspects of criminal law and issues relating to constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, unlawful gathering of incriminating evidence through interrogation and identification procedures, and the provision of legal counsel in criminal matters.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: CJFS 1120, OR LGST 1110 or permission of the instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    CJFS 3730: VICTIMOLOGY

    Goals: To introduce students to the field of victimology through research, theory, history, policy and exploration of victims’ roles in the criminal justice system and society.

    Content: This course examines research on victimization including trends and rates of occurrence, current theoretical explanations of victimization, the history and development of the crime victims’ rights movement in the United States, policies aimed at helping victims, and consequences of victimization for victims and society.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120; or LGST 1110; or PSY 1330 or SOC 1110 instructor permission.

    Credits: 4


    CJFS 3740: COURTS AND SENTENCING

    Goals: To introduce students to the history and current practices of the American criminal court system through the exploration of empirical research and theoretical frameworks.

    Content: This course examines the role that the criminal court plays in society.  It explores courtroom decision making from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on research and theory from criminological, sociological, and organizational perspectives.  Specific topics include empirical research and theory on bail and pre-trial procedures, the roles and decisions of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and juries, plea bargaining practices, sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums and truth-in-sentencing reforms.  

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120; or LGST 1110; or instructor permission

    Credits: 4 credits

    CJFS 3750 THEORIES OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

    Goal: The objectives for this course are for students to understand the causes of crime and why individuals commit crimes.

    Content: The focus of this course are theories of crime and of criminal behavior and the contexts (individual and societal characteristics, family, and neighborhood) associated with crime and offending.  

    Taught: Annually, fall and spring.

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120; or SOC 1110. For CCJ majors, it is strongly recommended that you complete CJFS 1140 prior to enrolling in this class.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3760: JUVENILE DELINQUENCY/JUVENILE JUSTICE

    Goals: To acquaint the student with the history and inception of the juvenile court; the evolution of adolescence; understand, evaluate and apply theories of delinquency; and describe the organization of the juvenile justice system and intervention strategies.

    Content: The objectives for this course are for students to understand the historical development of the concept of delinquency, theories related to delinquent behavior, and how theories influence the development of juvenile justice policy. The course will also cover the structure and operations of the juvenile justice system, examining both recent legal reforms and juvenile correctional strategies.

    Taught: Annually, fall and spring.

    Prerequisites: CJFS 1120; SOC 1110; PSY 1330, or LGST 1110. It is strongly recommended that CCJ majors complete CJFS 1140 and CJFS 3750 prior to enrolling in the course.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3770-PUNISHMENT, CORRECTIONS AND SOCIETY

    Goals: The objectives of this course are to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the issues and methods of punishment and social control within American correctional practice and to review the empirical research assessing the effectiveness of correctional practice.

    Content: This course examines theories of punishment and asks questions such as “Why do we punish and how much? Is punishment a deterrent for future criminal offending behavior? What are current correctional, sentencing, and punishment techniques being used in the United States? The course will also cover theories of punishment, the structure and operations of the U.S jail, prison, and correction systems, and explore current correctional policies and their impact on individuals and society.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120; or SOC 1110; or PSY 1330; SOCJ 1100 or LGST 1110. It is strongly recommended that CCJ majors complete CJFS 1140 prior to enrolling in the course.

    CJFS 3780 – INTERNATIONAL CRIME AND JUSTICE

    Goals: Introduce students to both the rates and definitions of crime and administration of justice from a global perspective.  

    Description: This course presents an introduction to crime and criminal justice systems in a global perspective. We compare crime and criminal justice in the United States to countries around the world to understand the interconnections between culture, politics, crime, and the administration of justice. Beyond this, we focus on inherently international (and contentious) issues in criminal justice including globalization, terrorism, drug trafficking, war crimes, human rights, and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120 or LGST 1110 or SOC 1110, or instructor permission. Students seeking a major in political science or social justice are invited to explore the content of this course with the professor for enrollment.

    Credits: 4 credits


    CJFS 3790 - CRIME POLICY EVALUATION

    Goal: The goals of this course is to 1) familiarize students with current and emerging crime program and policies, 2) begin to understand how we analyze crime programs, initiatives, and policies for efficacy, 3) develop evaluation designs, and 4) identify the key stakeholders on the local, national, and federal level for the development of crime policy and programs.

    Content: This course examines current criminal justice policy initiatives from an evidence-based perspective. Students will be introduced to the evaluation hierarchy model and use this framework to analyze crime policy from needs and theoretical evaluations through cost benefit analysis. Specific topics include, but not limited to Supermax prison, sex crime laws, juvenile transfer laws, mass incarceration, mandatory arrests for domestic violence, prisoner reentry, gun laws, and the death penalty.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisite: CJFS 1120 and CJFS 1140. It highly recommended that students complete CJFS 3750 before enrolling in the course.

    Credits: 4 credits

     

    CJFS 5660 - CAPSTONE AND INTERNSHIP IN CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

    Goals: To enable students to pursue internships and explore the connections between criminal justice knowledge and skills and experiences in professional workplace settings.

    Content: An exploration and application of criminal justice concepts to professional workplace practice; independent research projects and frequent on-campus seminars are designed to connect academic and workplace experiences.

    Taught: Fall and spring.

    Prerequisites: CJFS 1140 and CJFS 3750, and CJFS 3720 or permission of the instructor.

    This course also requires students to complete a 120 hour internship concurrently with the class.

    Students should contact the instructor well in advance of the beginning of the semester to discuss their internship placement site to assure prompt commencement of the internship.

    Credits: 4 credits

    CJFS 3980/ 5980- SPECIAL TOPICS IN CRIMINOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

    Goal: The goals of this course are to critically exam current and relevant issues related to criminal justice policy, the correctional system, and legal issues through a criminological lens.

    Content: The content of the course focuses on current issues in the criminal justice system.

    Taught: Annually

    Prerequisites: To be determined by course content.

    Credits: 4 credits